This conversation is closed.

Does the violence men perpetrate against women indicate that men fear women?

The rage and hatred which perpetrates violence nearly always has a denied fear behind it. Denied fear of other easily converts into blaming rage at the other, which if the fear is strong enough may drive the rage into violent behavior. Is this the case concerning man's violence toward women?

  • thumb
    Aug 6 2012: Hi John,
    I think/feel we do ourselves a dis-service by trying to wrap everyone up in the same package. Violence and rage has many root causes.

    I agree with you that fear is an underlying factor with all violence and abuse of people, and I also agree that denied fear often converts to blaming others. If underlying issues are not resolved, they often rise to the top and manifest into violence and abuse. Again, if we try to name the underlying causes the same for everyone, we may be missing some of the root causes.
    • thumb
      Aug 6 2012: Yeah, I agree, we should be more careful in saying "all men" are violent guys. It could be that all men are capable of violence, but that doesn't mean they're violent. And also, we shouldn't forget that there are also violent and malicious women out there too.
  • thumb
    Aug 6 2012: This is an overly simplistic view of a complex issue.
    • Aug 6 2012: It is not a point of view. It is a question attempting to support men in digging a little deeper emotionally. You may feel as the post before yours that I am accusing men of being the sole perpetrators of violence in relationships with women.

      Here is the question again:

      Does the violence men perpetrate against women indicate that men fear women?

      The question seeks to understand motives.
  • thumb
    Aug 6 2012: In most male / female loving relationships there is a tendency to let a partner get closer to our personal hopes & fears. Even in loving relationships this can result in some animosity when we are tired , & stressed. When a loving relationship is distorted by selfishness & rage, things often get out of hand & become physical. Inevitably the weaker is bullied by the stronger. Usually; but not always; it is the woman who comes off worst.
    The situation is often aggravated by trying to keep the truth under wraps.
    I don't think men fear women. Their actions are irrational & spontaneous, with little risk of retaliation. They indulge their base instincts with no care for their victim. Unfortunately it seems to be on the increase, with both boys & girls learning their respective roles from the grown-ups (?) in their lives.

    • thumb
      Aug 12 2012: Hi Peter,
      You mention some interesting perspectives! I you suggest....often young people learn behaviors from adults. Young people are often attracted to a partner, who is like the opposite sex parent, which serves to continue the patterns generation after generation.
  • thumb
    Aug 6 2012: Actually, men who perpetrate violence against women are often not motivated by fear. They are cowardly men who feel a sense of power- with a relatively low risk of retaliation-when bullying a woman. My answer to your question is, NO. Men who are physically abusive to women do so because they are NOT afraid of women.
    • thumb
      Aug 6 2012: Edward,
      You say that "men who perpetrate violence...are often not motivated by fear. They are cowardly...."
      What is "cowardly" motivated by? I would say fear.
      • thumb
        Aug 6 2012: I think he is suggesting that men who choose to take their violent urges out on women, rather than other men, are cowards. Sports, martial arts, wrestling, boxing, there are several methods in which men can compete against other men, to get out their violent urges in a socially accepted way. You can even punch each other in the face.

        Men who choose instead to be violent against women, are afraid to compete with men. They don't fear women, they get off on the power of abusing something weaker than them. At least, most of the time, but as you suggest no generallization can be applied to the individual.
        • thumb
          Aug 6 2012: Hi David,
          I think I understand what Edward is suggesting. I believe that "cowardly" is motivated by fear.

          Competing in sports is not the same as violence and abuse directed against another you think?

          Actually, I'm aware of people who are very competitive in sports, AND violent and abusive to other people. You make a good point, in that sport activities sometimes provide the opportunity to "get out their violent urges...".

          However, the men I worked with who were incarcerated for violence and abuse against another person were always working out in the gym, and it did not serve to "get out their violent urges" toward other people.
        • thumb
          Aug 6 2012: Maybe they should start using a real punching bag, not a human one...
        • thumb
          Aug 6 2012: Well James, that's a good point. However, if we accept the idea that with violence and abuse a person would like to "level" the field....try to make another person feel as inadequate as s/he feels....then the punching bag does not provide the emotional response needed to "level".....correct?

          That is why I believe competitive sports to be different from abuse. Although sport activities may help to disperse anxious, tense, angry energy, it does not serve the same purpose....make any sense?
      • thumb
        Aug 6 2012: I would only add, that a punching bag does not humble you, the way a human being of equal weight can. In the same way, that as you suggest, you do not get to humble it. I think being defeated occasionally helps keep an arrogant man in check.

        I think many men who abuse their wives, have either never been dominated in a fight, or... only been dominated when they fought.
        • thumb
          Aug 6 2012: I agree David,
          Although I've never had an experience with a punching bag, I imagine that you "do not get to humble it"! I also agree that being defeated occasionally helps remind us of humility....I HAVE had that experience with sport activities:>)

          In my experience working with hundreds of women in shelter, and incarcerated men, I learned that they are both often replaying experiences and roles they learned as children in abusive, violent family dynamics. Most of the abusive men I interacted with had been abused and dominated by someone....usually a family member....usually the father.
      • thumb
        Aug 6 2012: Hi Colleen-
        I'm not sure I agree that fear is an important contributor to cowardice. I think cowardice is best described as an excessive desire to avoid danger, difficulty, and suffering. When this trait controls a person, a man particularly, the result can be violence against "safe" victims. Be well friend.-Edward
      • thumb
        Aug 7 2012: Regarding: "OH MY GOODNESS. . . "
        I think I will coin a new saying: "[Blank] is harder to find than a Colleen Steen comment with a reply button".
        I used the word "proposition" in the appropriate rhetorical sense.
        How does this discussion work? I keep saying that I disagree with you about cowards being motivated by fear and you keep replying that cowards are motivated by fear. I get it. I have heard you, several times and I continue to not believe that men assault women because they fear them. Can we stop this line of argument please? It is unproductive and, for me, is bogging down the exchange of ideas and opinions. Please. Thank you!
        • thumb
          Aug 7 2012: Dear Edward,
          Nobody is asking you to can stop whenever you like....I'm sure you know that! I don't really care what you choose to believe. I'm simply providing well known information.
      • thumb
        Aug 7 2012: RE: "Nobody is asking you to continue....."
        Of course I know I can stop whenever I like. My problem is not stopping myself, but stopping you. I feel it is rude for me to not respond when a response is indicated. So, in a way I am being asked to continue each time I get an email notification that you have responded to me. I have lost track of what you mean exactly by the phrase "well known information" in your latest reply to me. I guess you are referring to your assertion that cowardice is synonymous with fear, and therefore fear of women is why men beat women. I categorically disagree with that idea. I know you "don't really care what I choose to believe, " but do you understand that I really do not want any more offerings of "well known information" (which is not always valid information) addressed to me? Neither of us has won the other over. Let's leave it at that, no winner, no loser. Again, please, let's move on. Peace--Edward
        • thumb
          Aug 7 2012: I also would not agree without a show of evidence that people beat other people typically because they fear them. People who beat others have an unfortunate tendency to select those weaker than themselves.
        • thumb
          Aug 7 2012: Edward, do you think you may be making a mountain out of a molehill?

          I say what I mean, and mean what I say...nothing complicated.

          The only thing I offered, is that there is an element of fear in violence and abuse....that's it!

          Everything I've ever read, researched, studied, and personally experienced, reinforces this idea. I have offered nothing that is not valid information.

          As long as you accuse me of something I have not done, or misrepresent information I offer, I will continue to respond. I am not trying to "win" anything. I am simply responding, on a public forum, with information I have from exploring this topic for 60+ years.

          I have never said that people "beat other people typically because they fear them". I have said that there is an element of fear in violence and abuse. You are absolutely correct in that people are generally selective regarding who they abuse, and victims are usually weaker than themselves.
      • thumb
        Aug 7 2012: Hi, Colleen. I didn't mean to suggest that you believe people beat others typically because they fear them. I only said that I do not believe this to be true.
    • Aug 6 2012: Edward please follow what Colleen has to say on this thread, I could not give you better answers
      • thumb
        Aug 6 2012: I have followed every word of Ms. Steen's proposition. I disagree that fear motivates men to physically abuse women. Thanks for intervening with your reminder about failing to pay attention to participant's contributions. Please rest assured I do read all responses. Thank you!
        • thumb
          Aug 6 2012: OH MY GOODNESS Edward. There is no proposition on my part!!!

          You stated...."men who perpetrate violence against women are often not motivated by fear. They are cowardly men who feel a sense of power......"

          I simply offered accepted definitions of "coward", which all include fear!

          Fear is an underlyiing factor in violence and abuse....pretty common knowledge.
  • thumb
    Aug 9 2012: Just in case- if any reader of this thread is a man who is violent toward women or a man who feels justified in violence toward women or children, please know that Professional help is available either through your health care provider or your local United Way. You owe it to yourself and your loved ones to consider this.
    • thumb
      Aug 9 2012: Good idea Fritzie,

      Here's more information:

      Stop family violence
      • thumb
        Aug 9 2012: Thank you, Colleen, for sharing these resources. I think seeking specific, professional help is an act of courage.

        Many people do not know, I have learned, that help is available not only for the victims of abuse but also for abusers or potential abusers.
        • thumb
          Aug 9 2012: Fritzie,
          There are a LOT of resources available. I chose the links posted because they do not specify " man who is violent toward women", as you wrote in your previous comment.

          These sites are about people, who violate other people, and include resources for child and elder abuse as well.

          I agree that many people do not know about resources, and many people don't even know how to identify violence and abuse, which is why I provided the link to the violence/abuse wheel.

          For clarity...You stated that help is available "through your local United Way". I was a volunteer coordinator for United Way for quite awhile, and I believe they would direct a person to other resources. I do not believe any United Way actually offers help regarding violence and abuse, except to direct inquiries to appropriate organizations.

          I takes courage to address this issue from many different perspectives.
      • thumb
        Aug 9 2012: Colleen, yes, I know United Way doesn't provide these services directly. Some health care providers may not either.

        But both are excellent first points of contact available in many locations. These organizations will almost certainly know where to direct people who need or want such help.
        • thumb
          Aug 9 2012: Fritzie,
          You make a good point to suggest contacting health care providers and United Way. They will definetely direct a person to the appropriate resources, as will hospitals, police depts., etc.

          In my experience working in a shelter, family center and rape crisis center, people often do not call for help until they are in crisis. I'm sure you know that generally, United Way and health care providers often do not have people answering phones 24/7.

          The hotlines are the best contacts because they are there 24/7, and the people who work on the hotlines are trained to deal with these issues. I appreciate your interest in this very important matter.
      • thumb
        Aug 9 2012: I am always worried about not hearing a serious cry for help. I always take the "better safe than sorry" approach when it comes to people's potential safety.
        • thumb
          Aug 9 2012: I'm sure you do Fritzie. There is no question in my mind and heart about your intention. Sometimes, it helps to have all appropriate information.

          I was going to let your comment go United Way or your health care provider....I simply could not let that peice of information hang out there.

          Most people who call for help, do so when they are in crisis. The rate of crisis is higher during weekends and holidays.

          No one is available at most health care facilities or United way on off hours. So, people in crisis would get an answering machine at best. They might get a response, days down the road, which would tell them to contact the hotlines.

          I suggest going directly to the hotlines, where people who are trained are available 24/7.
          This is the "better safe than sorry" approach.
  • thumb
    Aug 7 2012: certainly a lot of discussion sparked by this question.

    i think it really only highlights the way in which stereotypes are perpetuated by the mis-perceptions we all have based on our limited (individual) experiences and humanity's tendency toward generic expression of emotion.
    • Aug 7 2012: Thanks Scott, please explain to me what you mean by 'generic expression of emotion'.
      • thumb
        Aug 9 2012: responding while still in the throes of emotional reaction and expressing it in general terms.
  • thumb
    Aug 6 2012: The assumption that throughout history the male was dominate is false. Even today we have patriarchy and matiarchy societies. In order to better understand the problem I look at the statistics of domestic abuse. For years it was only the female that was in this category now the males are a fast growing abused statistic.

    I submit this so that the whole picture can be evaluated. Violance is not a him or her thing it is an issue that needs addressed. In police work we see hundreds of "reasons" for the violance. It is not that simple to say it is "just" fear. Some people are just plain mean. Some just reach a breaking point. Each case has its own story.

    No doubt that males are aggressive ... however, recall that the female dominated societies sacrificed a male each year to furtility Gods. The females were also the warriors.

    Times are changing and societies values change. In the last 50 years the roles of men and women have changed. As these changes occur conflicts errupt some are peacefully resolved some are not.

    I am in no way justifying abuse from either side. I just think that we are only looking at one side in this conversation when a whole picture is required to appreciate the scope of the problem.

    All the best. Bob.
    • thumb
      Aug 6 2012: Hello Bob,
      I suggest that there have always been abused males and females. Based on my experience on the hot line in the shelter, males were less likely to talk about abuse because of society's expectations of male/female roles.

      More men are talking about abuse, so it changes the known statistics. Also, there is abuse within same sex partnerships. I will also mention that females on the higher end of the socio-economic ladder were less likely to speak about abuse, because we used to imagine that violence and abuse only happened in lower socioeconomic environments. Now we know that is not true. So, that is also changing the statistics.

      I agree that violence is not a "him or her thing", which is why I speak of people in my comments on this thread. I also am interested in looking at the whole picture, and that includes looking at each individual story. There are, however, many similar threads running through many of the stories, both from the victim's point of view and the abuser's point of view. That's another reason, I volunteered for years working with both victims and abusers. We are not going to resolve any part of this challenge by looking at only one my humble opinion.
      • thumb
        Aug 6 2012: Colleen, Your humble opinion is one that I look forward to and respect.

        All the best. Bob.
        • thumb
          Aug 6 2012: Thank you my friend...I appreciate you:>)
    • Aug 6 2012: The issue has such a charge upon it that the other conversation which I posted has been taken down as offensive. I think that this conversation is allowed to continue because it has traffic.. The other conversation described below had much less traffic. I did not see anything posted that was offensive and I was very conservative in my responses. This is the third conversation in which I have been involved in which has been stricken..

      TED Conversation Removal

      Dear John Allyn,

      The following conversation on has been removed, as the discussion was offensive and not appropriate for TED Conversations.

      TED Conversations Admin

      Title: What is the Basis of the Gender Gap
      Conversation: There is a tremendous emotional charge between men and women which needs understanding and resolution for evolution to progress.

      This is very similar to the objective and subjective finding resolution with in each individual.

      Where as individuals we have not resolved our own conflicts between our male objective and female subjective it is reflected to us as the Gender Gap.
      • thumb
        Aug 6 2012: John,
        I suggest that the issue was not as charged as the people participating. I was reading the comments, and they got rather confrontational. I believe this conversation may be allowed to continue because it has been, and hopefully continues to be respectful. We can all contribute to that goal.

        There is only emotional charge between man and women (people) when we as individuals create that. We can also create a conversation in which we respect each other. Both men and women have objective and subjective characteristics, and in my perception, can both use these characteristics beneficially, or not so beneficially.....don't you think?
        • thumb
          Aug 7 2012: Colleen, you speak as someone commited to meaningful discourse. The issue of domestic violence- whether man against woman, woman against man, either parent against children, or same sex partners against each other is not an issue with a charge upon it and absolutely valid for thoughtful, open-minded discourse. I agree with you.

          Regardless of the issue, the rules of respectful discourse should apply. Further, the most productive conversations will be those in which people engage not to sell an ideology but rather to share notes, information, and ideas with respect for all those who want to engage with open ears in mutual sense-making. It's also most educational when no one person dominates the discourse (except, perhaps, when the person has special expertise on the subject).
        • Aug 7 2012: In my world emotional charge can be enjoyable (joy, happiness, the sublime) or un-enjoyably (fear, rage, self hating) and those are value judgments. Once one seeks self realization understanding each is important, as well as not acting out the intimidating emotions.

          The self image the site is attempting to maintain and propagate is one of being a place of intellectual exchange. Emotions have no place there.

          If emotions and their expression were acceptable we would learn more of who we are.

          Allowing persons to just go at it emotionally while being protected from physical harm by our cyber space buffer allows the participants the possibility to learn about emotions which have been in a state of denial and triggered into semi consciousness. The energy runs down in time, the senses return and others on the site can assist the participants in understand their projection, values, self images, and so on.

          And I realize that the site is not designed for personal healing or evolution. It is designed to maintain the illusions of who we think we are through the intellectual process of discourse.
      • thumb
        Aug 7 2012: Fritzie,
        I definitely AM committed to meaningful discourse, and it's nice to see you do that as well.:>)

        From the time I was a wee little child, so many times, horribly frightened by my fathers anger and rage, I decided to be committed to meaningful discourse. I remember thinking, even as a small child....."why doesn't he just talk about his fears"?

        Well, he didn't know how to do that, so the anger continued his whole life. It is not surprising (at least to myself and people who know me) that I became a mediator!

        Good reminders Fritzie....thanks:>)
        • thumb
          Aug 7 2012: My longstanding interest in meaningful discourse is not about fear.. To me there is a distinction between a discourse culture that is about selling or winning and one that is about learning. The selling and drive to win sometimes drowns out and obstructs learning and personal growth.
      • thumb
        Aug 7 2012: I totally agree Fritzie,
        My interest in meaningful discourse is about contentment, learning, growing and evolving as individuals, and as a whole. Sometimes, people need to move through the fear to discover learning and growth. There definitely IS distinction between a discourse about selling/winning and one about learning. I'm happy that you recognize that distinction:>)
        • Aug 7 2012: You may be interested in the below post.
    • Aug 7 2012: I initiated this conversation to get the ball rolling and there is another one coming which speaks to female violence. It is a more sophisticated conversation because it involves feeling into the subjective a bit more which may intimidate the site administration. .

      Female violence is more in the emotional domain so it is very difficult to pin down objectively. Languaging it usually stirs strong emotions, which is why I have held off. See what the following stirs in you

      A few years back I was doing a breakout seminar at a local high school.

      I had thirty some persons in the classroom sitting at students desks.

      Looking at my audience, the door in to the room was in the center of the wall to my left.

      About eight men were present and they all were in the front to back isle nearest to the door.

      The remaining twenty to twenty five women were evenly dispersed through the rest of the room in desks to the right of the men.

      I was speaking on the mental attitude’s effect upon health and specifically how the mental self image impacts health.

      A women coyly raises her hand and asked me what I meant by self image. Dead pan I replied “you know it is what you manipulate in your man to get him to do what you want him to do”.

      I stood there dumbfounded as the entire group or women cracked up laughing to the point where a few appeared to me to be nearly hysterical. I looked over at the men and they looked like children sliding down in their chairs attempting to hide behind their desks. They did not have a clue what the women were laughing about but on some level they knew it was about them.

      In the subjective domain women understand men better than men understand themselves. The unscrupulous use of this power may inadvertently shatter the man's self image which she has been supporting as well as manipulating. He may be shoved into unconsciousness, kill her, the kids and then himself. Self hatred resides beneath the self image. If the self image is abruptly shattered, violence!!
  • thumb
    Aug 6 2012: Here is a doctor's summary of causes of domestic violence (from Psych Central).
    There are other research-based sources as well that may be of interest, as well as a summary on Wikipedia if you search for Domestic Violence. As this is a serious issue, the causes and potential avenues for addressing the problem have received considerable attention within the fields of psychology and medicine. We are not left entirely to guess.
    • Aug 6 2012: Thank you Fritzie, That is a nice piece of information which contains part of the story. I will post it below:

      What Causes Domestic Violence?
      By Toby D. Goldsmith, MD

      Domestic violence may start when one partner feels the need to control and dominate the other. Abusers may feel this need to control their partner because of low self-esteem, extreme jealousy, difficulties in regulating anger and other strong emotions, or when they feel inferior to the other partner in education and socioeconomic background. Some men with very traditional beliefs may think they have the right to control women, and that women aren’t equal to men.

      This domination then takes the form of emotional, physical or sexual abuse. Studies suggest that violent behavior often is caused by an interaction of situational and individual factors. That means that abusers learn violent behavior from their family, people in their community and other cultural influences as they grow up. They may have seen violence often or they may have been victims themselves.

      Children who witness or are the victims of violence may learn to believe that violence is a reasonable way to resolve conflict between people. Boys who learn that women are not to be valued or respected and who see violence directed against women are more likely to abuse women when they grow up. Girls who witness domestic violence in their families of origin are more likely to be victimized by their own husbands.

      Alcohol and other chemical substances may contribute to violent behavior. A drunk or high person will be less likely to control his or her violent impulses.

      Fritzie, from my point of view the low self esteem and feelings of inferiority are the basis of all the other behaviors. The low self esteem and feelings of inferiority have their origins I believe, in the nature of the relationship between the mother and father which is fixed in form by the mother as a child's unconscious imprinting he receives as a fetus, infant and child.
      • thumb
        Aug 6 2012: I know. I have seen you express this belief now across numerous threads.
        • thumb
          Aug 9 2012: Fritzie, the show was called "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy", it didn't makeover homosexuals often. In fact, most of the episodes, were based on women asking the Queer Eye folk for help, with their unkempt man "Oh, if only he was like you guys I'd be so much happier". Yes, any mature human being knows that this premise is absolute nonsense.

          On the other hand, if you think men just started wearing hair gel and fashion designer clothing, because they spontaneously started valuing it... I've got some land, rich with oil in Nigeria, and I just need you to help me pay the taxes on it : p
      • thumb
        Aug 9 2012: David, why not look at Wikipedia under both Queer Eye for the Straight Guy and under metrosexual to see what they say?
  • Aug 6 2012: I think it may do because men have always been the "dominant male" and this has been carrying on throughout history and that woman are the "lesser species". But I think that the violence that men perpetrate against women is because they want to show that they have the power and they threaten anyone who denies it or goes against it, so if they go to all that trouble to prevent the opposite sex dominating them. Then surely they're afraid of change in this case, woman.
    • thumb
      Aug 6 2012: Hi Lily.....good point, which John brings up in another part of this comment thread...

      John Allyn
      15 hours ago: "Do you feel that the majority of us fear the consequences of being dominated by another person or group of persons?"

      I would not say that it is a "majority of us", but I do feel that part of the underlying fear which motivates abuse, is fear of being dominated. The conscious, or unconscious thought might be....I will dominate that person before that person dominates me. Or....I will keep that person in his/her place so s/he cannot dominate me.
    • Aug 6 2012: Lily, I think that for a women to understand the terror a man has of a woman's domination of them the woman must understand men's experience with their mothers before, during and after birth. If you begin to be privy to this aspect of men's experiences you will better understand the fear and terror he holds which drives him to dominate or avoid relationship with women all together.

      This is a big issue. One which has too much emotional charge upon it at his point to get far in a discussion, especially when it must all be keyboarded.
      • thumb
        Aug 6 2012: Maybe we CAN get further into the discussion John. Lily has already stated that she is a "kid", so perhaps we can keep the "emotional charge" low for the benefit of all participants?

        You speak about this challenge as if every single man and every woman are impacted in the same way. Is that what you are suggesting? I do not believe all people are impacted in the same way. There are plenty of men and women in our world who have successful, loving relationships....would you agree?
        • Aug 7 2012: Now that I have more insight into the fear men have of women and the power a women has in her emotional body to manipulate a mans feelings, I see a lot more guilt than love.

          Love is to use one of those very slippery words which mean something different for each person. Before i begin a conversation on the topic of love I state what my definition is and ask the same from the other person.

          For me Love is self acceptance With acdeptance of oneself one can accept others for who they are and then associate or not depending upon the feelings involved.

          This leads to the need to then define self. Freud made the word ego (self) a household term. Yet he never arrived at the place where he made a distinction between self and self image. Thus at this point in our development we have very little appreciation for how much control our own imagination has over who we think we are.. Mother understand this at a gut level better than men because she watches the children, immersed in imagination much of the time, as they develop int0o adults who do not realize that they are imagining most of the time..

          What I have not seen yet is consciousness of how the imagination creates ones self image. Thus self image is an imagination tainted image of who one is, not who one is. Who we are is consciousness in a sensual feeling body. The image in healthy person is kinesthetic.

          (Also called: muscle sense the sensation by which bodily position, weight, muscle tension, and movement are perceived).

          Because people have not yet learned to distinguish between self and their imagination generated self image they will fight to the death sometime to defend the imagined self. Defending the self image is the majority oft the conflict we see.

          So the issue of speaking of love between persons is difficult for me because self acceptance is not what is actually being talked about. Emotional denial in relationships usually results in guilt ridden behavior being called love. Guilt is not self acceptance.
        • Aug 7 2012: Emotions have a lot to teach us if we listen. The administration of this has tremendous fear around the conversation which I have initiate. Three of which they have removed from the venue available to persons on this site. Here is the latest one they have removed, see if you can understand what the reason is for calling it offensive.

          TED Conversation Removal

          Dear John Allyn,

          The following conversation on has been removed, as the discussion was offensive and not appropriate for TED Conversations.

          TED Conversations Admin

          Title: What is the Basis of the Gender Gap
          Conversation: There is a tremendous emotional charge between men and women which needs understanding and resolution for evolution to progress.

          This is very similar to the objective and subjective finding resolution with in each individual.

          Where as individuals we have not resolved our own conflicts between our male objective and female subjective it is reflected to us as the Gender Gap.
  • thumb
    Aug 6 2012: And maybe some violence are also triggered by ignorance or lack of respect for others.
    • thumb
      Aug 6 2012: What is the root of ignorance and lack of respect? Would that be fear?
      • thumb
        Aug 6 2012: I wanna say just lack of education and understanding of others... but sometimes we fear what we don't understand, so...
        • thumb
          Aug 6 2012: I agree James, we often fear what we don't understand, so.......attempting to understand the underlying causes seems very important.

          One of the challenges I discovered when working with people who demonstrate abusive behaviors, is that in order to uncover the underlying issues in an attempt to understand, we need to recall those experiences which caused the fear, anger and violent behaviors.
          It's another one of those cycles James....if we don't face the underlying "stuff", the behaviors continue....generation after generation
      • thumb
        Aug 6 2012: Indeed, we need to understand and attack the source of the issues.
  • Aug 6 2012: Interesting reaction to your question. When I read it I immediately thought not of physical violence but rather institionalized violence and oppression of women by societies around the world (nothing in your question suggested just the western world).
    My first reaction would be to assume that equality for women threatens the male power source and the basis for the male/female hierarchy (which I have always thought to evolve from physical strength).
    There is always a fear invoked when someone threatens you basis of power. How can it not?
    • Aug 6 2012: What appears to be a threat to one's power base could also be an opportunity for the formation of an alliance through whose synergy of a cooperative relationship may expand the entire power base beyond the sum what each had individually before they are combined.

      When one's self image in self importance is threatened as I believe is the case as you describe it cooperation is not possible because the self importance is fighting for its life.

      I feel that it is time for us to separate survival of true self from the imagined self that is contained with in our self images.

      Thank you Gordon for the stimulating thoughts.
  • Aug 6 2012: What about the mention of violence that women perpetrate against men? Perpetrators of violence by proxy don't get nearly as much attention as victims who respond to proxy violence.

    This post is a form of proxy violence, although it is not physical, the statement attacks males and puts them in a defensive position, having to prove themselves innocent since the assertation attributes guilt. The statement also assumes that all males commit violence against females, when in reality it is an incredibly small number of males who engage in such behavior.

    According to DV statistics in the United States the amount of violence between the sexes is pretty even.

    Women are violent to men as well they just use a different method of action. The question you've posted is alarming proof of this.
    • Aug 6 2012: I am in no way implying that women are not as violent toward men as men are toward women

      "Does the violence men perpetrate against women indicate that men fear women?"

      My question is intended to explore how persons on this site understand male violence against women. I just had a thread shut down on me as I was debating the issue of female proxy violence toward men with a woman who seriously disagreed with me. It may still be up.

      This conversation has closed. Start a new conversation
      or join one »
      Plus Michelle Obamas plea for education for women. In anything, observe, notice, plan, action, evaluate, review. Think benefit/cost.
      I am a woman in a patriachal society. The more a woman shouts the more she is ignored by men who had mothers who shouted and made them feel bad about themselves. This is as true on a macro level as a micro level. Cultural reference in Ancient Greece the only way to stop the constant warring was to refuse sex. Men were close enough to their mothers and daughters not to want to see them raped. Women must be allowed free will as well as men or you lose a very important resource in women's knowledge and creativity.
      Closing Statement from elizabeth muncey
      I wish to apologise to everyone whoi found this conversation offensive and disrespectful. I appreciate the vocabulary I used did not effectively communicate the ideas I was trying to talk about., I will take this opportunity to think it through and reflect on how words can get in the way of what I am tryiing to say. Thank you again to everyone who contributed. It has given me a great deal to think about.

      Does the violence men perpetrate against women indicate that men fear women?

      I am over on the male side of the issue now. I do not think that it is practical to attempt address both sexes at the same time.

      This question is intended to support men in understanding themselves at a deeper emotional level than I witness in my exchanges with men. Cyber space is a wonderful domain for this.
      • Aug 6 2012: Your clarification has made the question much more clear.

        Q: Does the violence men perpetrate against women indicate that men fear women?

        Before I answer the question. Men are not a hivemind they are individuals who just happen to have a very similar biological construction. What influences behavior varies based on the male and his experiences interacting with his environment.

        A: Some men may perpetrate violence against women because they fear them since violence is usually a reaction to feeling inferior or slighted. However, I highly doubt that all men commit violence against women solely for this reason. Some men like James Holmes are just violent without any logical explanation.

        To address a few of your other points.

        Anyone who shouts at me is ignored until they are willing to talk in a more civil manner, whether its a man or woman does not make a difference.

        Also, the final sentence has a strong condescending tone to it. Men are perfectly capable of understanding themselves without "support" from an anonymous source. Your exchanges with men in your immediate surroundings have very little to do with all men.

        I hope I was able to adequately answer your questions
  • thumb
    Aug 6 2012: I am sure that some men fear some women and that it may result in violence at some time or other. However, I believe that men are violent towards women because it gives them a feeling of great power and this seems to be something that rather too many men need to feel. Many achieve it by being highly competitive in work, sports etc. but there are those who do so by beating up their wives and daughters much to their, and society's, shame.
    • Aug 6 2012: Do you feel that women bring up a basic feeling of inadequacy in men, which they attempt to compensate for through physical domination in any form be it domestic violence, competition to win (dominate) or socially praised killing as in warfare?
      • thumb
        Aug 6 2012: No. I feel that some men's need to dominate (whether that be innate or environmental I'll leave to another debate) causes them to use whatever means necessary to achieve that. Women seem to bear the brunt of it as easier targets but there is plenty of man on man violence too.
        • Aug 6 2012: What are your thoughts on why some men need to dominate.
      • thumb
        Aug 6 2012: I think men are hard-wired to be competitive - survival of the species and all that. Some men are more competitive than most and these are the ones who usually excel in a range of fields such as sport and business. Some however, perhaps don't have the intellect or personality to succeed in these areas and find other ways to be 'top dog'. They may find they have an aptitude for crime which often leads to violence. Those who have little imagination may simply feel great beating up people who are weaker than them - we know them as bullies and wife-beaters.
  • thumb
    Aug 8 2012: Suggest you might want to get a bit more specific on the type of violence and situations.

    Sometimes violence, say during theft, is nothing to do with fear of the victim. You might pick a woman or older person as they are less of a physical challenge. Reduce risk and fear.

    Rape could be a mix of lust, lack of self control and empathy, lack of self respect, a power trip etc

    Suggest it might depend on the individual and the individual situation.

    Some violence might be associated with fear of social shame, seeing women as property or just a left over of primal drives rather than an intellectual reasoned fear. Maybe fear of change, fear of loss.

    Some might fear financial, social, and emotional implications of divorce or consequences of marriage and commitment etc. Not exactly fear of the woman.

    I know some men who have some latent hatred to individual women or women in general. It's not what I would call fear based. It's hatred of perceived double standards or being taken to the cleaner or cheated on or emotionally hurt etc.

    I guess some men are afraid of physical abuse by women, but not as much as the reverse situation.

    Me, I'm afraid of losing my partner to illness, of hurting her, causing unnecessary pain, of not doing my bit to support her in having a happy and fulfilling life.

    Living involves physical and emotional pain and it is natural to want to avoid this.
  • Aug 7 2012: From what I understand mens violence toward women in a domestic situation is all about domination and control. This need for domination and control of a loved one is rooted in some sort of childhood dynamic that has scarred and unconsciously, or consciously made this person resort and react with primitive behavior in order to stop the pain that they once felt as a child from repeating. The answer to your question is yes men fear women and become violent. If it was a jug of milk that mens emotions could attach to then from time to time milk would be subject to violence.
    • Aug 7 2012: Exactly Brian, our memories have many emotions attached to them and if something in the present triggers the memory into a semiconscious state the milk bottle may hit the wall.

      Female violence is more in the emotional domain so it is very difficult to pin down objectively. Her violence may trigger his and she may seem completely uninvolved. See what my following true story stirs in you.

      A few years back I was doing a seminar at a local high school.

      I had thirty some persons in the classroom sitting at students desks.

      Looking at my audience, the door in to the room was in the center of the wall to my left.

      About eight men were present and they all were in the front to back isle nearest to the door.

      The remaining twenty to twenty five women were evenly dispersed through the rest of the room in desks to the right of the men.

      I was speaking on the mental attitude’s effect upon health and specifically how the mental self image impacts health.

      A women coyly raises her hand and asked me what I meant by self image. Dead pan I replied “you know it is what you manipulate in your man to get him to do what you want him to do”.

      I stood there dumbfounded as the entire group or women cracked up laughing to the point where a few appeared to me to be nearly hysterical. I looked over at the men and they looked like children sliding down in their chairs attempting to hide behind their desks. They did not have a clue what the women were laughing about but on some level they knew it was about them.

      In the subjective domain women understand men better than men understand themselves. The unscrupulous use of this power may inadvertently shatter the man's self image which she has been supporting as well as possibly manipulating. The self image frequently develops as a defense to low self esteem to the extreme of self hatred. If the self image is shattered or ripped away quickly, the self hatred being big enough, violence will result. The man killed the wife, kids, and then himself
  • Aug 6 2012: I think society plays a big role in this topic. Religions, cultures, learned might be interesting to review records of earlier times to see if there has been a recent change in the relationship violence. Perhaps nature forces women to take responsibility more than it does men (child bearing). Perhaps women are a bit smarter and know how to get men to accept some of this responsibility. Perhaps there is a lingering rewards/pleasures vs security/food gathering balance still in play in nature, but society has changed the rules.
    • thumb
      Aug 6 2012: I totally agree that society has changed the rules Robert. Throughout history, it has been an accepted belief in many cultures that women are the property of men. In the state (USA) where I live, up until about 20 years ago, there was still a law on the books, which said men could shoot or whip his wife for certain infractions. This was removed only 15-20 years ago!!!

      I do not have any older statistics or records, and I would guess that there was as much, or maybe even more abuse. It was simply overlooked because it was accepted. When I was a child (60+) years ago, nothing was done about domestic violance and abuse, and it was common. I agree with you that many factors contribute to the challenge.
      • Aug 6 2012: Yes, things have changed quite a lot in the past 100 years. With the increase in mobility of humans, there came an ability to cross cultural lines formally maintained by geography. This also dramatically changed the rate at which culture changes took place. As the trend increased, and we became a global society, the comparison became easier, the abuses more apparent. Evolution of cultures into the global society creates transition, transition creates stress, accepted outlets for stress again vary by culture.

        In my opinion a lot has changed very quickly in the past generation. What you saw as a child is no longer acceptable behavior, as a parent, as a spouse, and as a member of either gender.

        I am not sure the root is blame. I think convenient outlet for frustration or unhappiness with events, self, or competition might be closer to the mark.
        • thumb
          Aug 6 2012: True....true....true! Increase in mobility changes awareness. Also, our communication systems change circumstances a LOT. Isolation is one contributing factor to abuse and violation of human rights. Because of our advanced communication systems, isolation is becoming more difficult.

          I don't ever perceive blame as an answer to any of our challenges. My perception is understanding how and why things happened as they did, and move through the challenges with information to improve things in the future.
      • Aug 7 2012: Colleen, As I understand it the mother has has the last word in the matter. She must sign into the hospital and she establishes the parameters.
        • thumb
          Aug 9 2012: John,
          This seems to be a response to a question I asked in a previous comment:

          Colleen Steen
          2 days ago: "You are welcome John..........................................."
          "Your discussion recently, was the first time the topic of traumatic impact of circumcision has come into my radar. With a quick search, I discover that Freud explored this well as many others".
          "Question to you....why would it be thought that the mother imposes this on the son. Isn't it usually both parents who agree to circumcision? Usually encouraged by their religion and/or the society they are a part of?"

          I did a little research John, and I cannot find anywhere, with research that has been done, where the mother is blamed for the trauma of circumcision. Actually, if you read the history of male circumcision (the link provided) you will see that most of the time throughout history, circumcisions were encouraged and performed by men....even to the point of mass circumcisions with large groups (100+) men to see who was the bravest and would react the least to the proceedure. According to Genesis, God told Abraham to circumcise himself, his household and his slaves....."

          Again, the practice of circumcision seems to have been encouraged and performed by men...including God! There does not seem to be any evidence that would justify blaming women.
      • thumb
        Aug 8 2012: I'm going to try and play devil's advocate a bit here Colleen, so please forgive me if I offend, but I think part of male frustration nowadays, is rooted, in the way you just explained the differences between men and women in the past.

        Everyone in modern society talks about the subjugation of women in the past, but never, the enslavement of men. It is perfectly acceptable for modern society to look back, at how unfair it was that women were treated as objects. It is not perfectly acceptable to mention, that parents married their young men off as quickly as they could, and he became his wifes servant.

        If the woman you got stuck with, and could legally never leave, wanted four children, you had to feed four children, and her... period. There was no negotiation, men were expected to give all of the money they earned, to their family.

        When cars came out, and a mans wife wanted a car... It didn't matter if he walked to work every day, to do manual labor for 12 hours... she had a long walk home from the store, and bags were heavy... so she needed a car, and if she didn't get one it was your fault for not working hard enough to earn 5 meals and a car.

        When Jenny up the street got a TV... You had to get your wife a TV. Who was really in charge?

        I think it's horrible to say these things nowadays... but I'd rather get hit with a whip a few times a day, than work 12 hours in a mine, or "The Jungle" style meat packing plant. I think in modern times we forget, that there was no such thing as a good job 100 years ago. No one wanted a job. There were arristocrats, and there were peasants, and peasant men did miserable, back breaking, soul crushing work.

        Peasant women "weren't allowed to work", and were often stuck in abusive relationships. It's not just "women had it hard back then"... It's "human beings were completely miserable and self destructive back then". In my humble opinion.
        • thumb
          Aug 8 2012: Hi David,
          I'm not offended at all, and I agree with what you write. If you go back and look at my comments, I did not "explain the differences between men and women in the past", nor did I say anything about "women had it hard back then". Please read my comments again?
          The exchange between me and Robert was about how society changes.

          That being said, I always speak about abuse of "people" because I agree that men are as abused as women in many ways. The roles society gave men and women were challenging, as you mention in your comment.

          Boys/men were often taught that they were the financial supporter, and they were taught NOT to recognize emotional "stuff" in strong....don't let anyone see you tough.....yes?

          Girls/women were taught to be the emotional supporter of the was GOOD to be our feelings....try to keep things in the family calm and it was ok to appear to be weak.

          These personas caused difficulty because we all (men and women) have many of the same qualities, fears, likes and dislikes....we are people. So, I believe men often surpressed their emotional side, to adapt to what society expected....the strong, financial supporter who didn't show emotions. It is not surprising that men supress feelings....that is what they have been taught to do by society!

          We're all in this together, and I prefer to always work together to resolve issues, rather than continue to seperate ourselves.
      • thumb
        Aug 8 2012: I would never accuse you of saying "women had it harder", but I feel society is perfectly accepting of you pointing out the past inequalities of women, ie "nothing was done about domestic violence and abuse"... but society is not as accepting of some of my comments. Or, maybe moreso, men are self censoring comments like this, because you don't hear them, in mainstream society.

        I feel men were inherently biologically designed to search for goals, and they were inherently biologically designed to care less about object permanence, ie we don't care how much stuff we have, unless we're trying to impress women with the stuff.

        Stuff, has no inherent value to men, in general. We enjoy experiences, sports, and in fact, danger. We are built to do stupid things, and society is really unaccepting of us talking about it nowadays, in my opinion.
        • thumb
          Aug 8 2012: David,
          My experience is that some parts of society are listening, and we need to listen more. I guest lectured and facilitated discussion groups at the univ. for years on the topic of violence and abuse in relationships. I found the young men AND women in the classes and discussion groups very willing and able to discuss these important issues together. To me, as a person who lived with violence and abuse as a child, this is a HUGE step forward for all of us. The fact that we are talking about it and willing to address the underlying issues from many sides is encouraging.

          We're hearing you now David, and that is a good thing. I appreciate your heartfelt contributions here on TED very much.
        • thumb
          Aug 8 2012: My experience is the same as Colleen's that males and females are very willing to discuss gender related issues together if the group is small enough and the environment is a trusting one. Young people in particular are less likely to buy into gender stereotypes and people of all ages are more likely than, say, forty years ago to get grumpy when others think and speak in terms of stereotypes..
          On an institutional level, those who work with young people are very well aware that it is the boys in the US, at least, who are more likely to struggle with and drop out of school before a high school diploma. Whereas perhaps fifty years ago there were focused efforts to better engage girls in the classroom, attention has shifted to a focus on strategies to reach boys.
          What has not been my experience is the observation that men are less interested than women in cars, televisions, and other gadgets or that men's interest in these tends to be about impressing women. And I am not personally familiar with empirical evidence to support the claim that women are, or have in the past been, the ones who have tended to want larger family sizes. In Melinda Gates' presentation at TedxChange, she suggested her research supports the contrary, at least in the present day.
      • thumb
        Aug 9 2012: I'll actually give you one really interesting example, that is kind of obscure, almost funny, but when you really think about it... It's very disturbing.

        For years, there was an enormous hit show, predominantly with women, called "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy". It was a television show, where men who are biologically designed differently than straight men, teach straight men how to pretend to care about fashion, in order to get laid.

        Let me repeat that. Gay men were reprogramming straight men, specifically because, women wouldn't have sex with straight men anymore... and women wen nuts for this show. Almost no one thought there was anything disturbing about this.
        • thumb
          Aug 9 2012: There is a very good reason I do not watch much TV. Public TV, documentaries, educational TV....that's about all I watch.

          Many people think that lots of the TV programming is just "funny", when, in fact, it is programming our minds. A lot of the violence we see in tv and movies reinforces the idea that violence is ok....we are "normalizing" violence in many ways in our society.
        • thumb
          Aug 9 2012: I could not say what conclusions one might draw from such a show or its alleged popularity with women, but one conclusion one cannot draw is that the existence of this show means that women actually care a speck whether men are interested in fashion.
      • thumb
        Aug 9 2012: I would absolutely agree with you Fritzie, if immediately following the shows success, the metrosexual fad hadn't begun among men 13-25 in LA and NY... and it was ebarassing for all the parties involved. Another great South Park episode based on real life.
        • thumb
          Aug 9 2012: I have now looked all this up. The show seems to have a certain amount in common with another show in which a pair of fashion experts do makeovers of women, with similarly insulting comments and humor. The Queer Eye show seems to have made over homosexial men as well, dressing men for both social occasions and job interviews.

          From my read the metrosexual fad had nothing to do with appealing to women through dressing. From what I have now read, this is described as a male interest in dressing themselves up for the pleasure of it. For themselves.

          I have no expertise in any of this, but none of what I have read suggests either that women wanted men to be interested in fashion, that men thought women wanted them to be interested in fashion, or that men became interested in fashion for the sake of the women in their lives.
      • thumb
        Aug 10 2012: So, I was listening to a Sam Cooke cd running some errands this morning, and I think he had something to say about this conversation. It's very old, antiquated music, but I think it hits on some of the themes I was talking about.

        "It's a hard on a fella, when he don't know his way around
        If I can't find me a honey, to help me spend my money
        I'm gonna have to blow this town, hear

        Another Saturday Night, but I ain't got nobody
        I got some money, 'cause I just got paid
        How I wished I had someone to talk to
        I'm in an awful way"

        "I often think of,
        The life I've lived.
        And ohh, it's a wonder
        I ain't dead...

        Drinkin an gamblin'
        Staying out all night
        Living in a Fools Paradise"

        "I was born by the river
        In a little tent
        And oh, just like that river, I've been runnin
        Ever since

        It's been a long, long time comin
        but I know... Change is gonna come

        It's been too hard livin'
        but i'm afraid to die...
        cus I don't know what's up there
        beyond the sky...

        It's been a long, long time comin
        but I know... Change is gonna come"

        "All day long,
        They work so hard,
        Till the sun, is goin down
        Working on the highways and biways, and wearing
        wearing a frown

        You hear them moaning their lives away,
        Then you hear, somebody say
        That's the sound of the men.
        Workin on the Chain Gang."

        Four classic songs if you haven't heard them. "Another Saturday Night" "Fool's Paradise" "A Change is Gonna Come", and "Chain Gang". I don't agree with them 100%, but I think they effectively express emotion men are often suppressing at the moment, and this leads to some of our more self destructive tendencies.
        • thumb
          Aug 10 2012: Hi David,
          I wholeheartedly agree that suppressed emotions can cause self destructive behaviors, and self destructive behaviors are often projected onto others. The solution goes right back to understanding the underlying causes and knowing our "self" doesn't it?
      • thumb
        Aug 10 2012: Out of thumbs up for you, but yes 100%. My main hope was to simply illuminate that there are some of these thoughts in even very humble and well meaning men, and the lack of that expression in cultural art and discourse in modern times, can be alienating.

        I think with out this sense of shared experience, and catharsis, some men are boiling up with emotions they don't really understand. Especially men without strong and non violent father figures, something I was very lucky to have.

        There's no Al Bundy anymore. Al Bundy was a horrible character, very flat, and honestly pretty degrading to both men and women, but he also gave married guys sticking it out, at a horrible job, during a rough patch a sense of "I'm not the only one" and "At least I'm not this guy".

        It's also rather odd that we don't talk about these issues in my mind, because hip hop culture, and honestly most modern pop music, address some of the worst issues in human sexuallity, and they almost do so flatteringly.

        I think learning to understand even negative sides that exist in almost every man, is important to development.

        I try not to speak for the destructive aspects of femininity, because I barely know myself... Which makes me think I probably can't possibly understand anyone else. I do talk a lot however, and listen, and these seem to be themes that resonate consistently in private among young men, especially poorly educated having trouble adjusting to the modern world.
        • thumb
          Aug 10 2012: David,
          I agree that many people share these same thoughts, and you do a good job of "illuminating" them. We're not going to resolve the underlying issues, until we bring them to light.

          It seems that some people express these issues with music and other art forms. The song you submitted seems to be a repeated story, don't you think? Perhaps it is easier to express these issues through an art form, rather than directly discussing them?

          I agree that some people are boiling up with emotions they may not understand, and if we want to understand these emotions, we need to delve into them, which sometimes feels frightening. I totally agree that learning all sides is important to development.

          One common thread I noticed when working with offenders of domestic violence and assault, is that they often did not know how to take responsibility for their actions. They wanted to blame the victim for "making them angry". Blaming simply tries to give responsibility to someone else, and is a mechanism to avoid delving into one "self".

          The "cognitive self change", program I co-facilitated, encouraged asking the questions of themselves...."what was I thinking"...."what was I feeling"? People who abuse others generally are not thinking and feeling clearly when in the process of abuse.

          If you checked out the link I provided above, there is a violence and abuse "wheel"....violence and abuse is usually a cycle. During the violence and abuse, the victim and offender are usually replaying roles they played out before.

          When that part of the cycle is over, there is a period of calm. The abuser says s/he will never do it again, there are apologies, etc. During this part of the cycle, victim and abuser believe that now everything is more problems. So there is no exploration of why this cycle continues. There is a tension building period, then an explosion of violence/abuse then calm (it's called the honeymoon stage). If people are not aware of this cycle, it continues.
      • Aug 12 2012: My comment removal demonstrated my point precisely. It is called fear in a state of denial.
        • thumb
          Aug 12 2012: Dear John,
          Are you saying that you removed one of your comments, realizing the content suggested a state of denial?
  • Aug 6 2012: I agree but maybe a man's dominance may be natural as it's probably in their DNA to take the upper role because of the history of mens attitude towards women. But maybe if women dominance triggers such a strong emotion then it would most likely be linked to their past. I think that this question is probably a lot more complex than what one may originally thought as there are many possibilities to this and each person is unique and individual so they would all have a different story.
    A bit off topic but just asking... is there an age restriction to having an account on TED? Only I'm a kid but I like to be involved in debates and discussions (and the videos) so I signed up...
    • thumb
      Aug 6 2012: I agree Lily that this is a complex issue, and you are insightful to recognize that.

      As far as I know, there is no age restriction to having an account on TED, so, welcome!

      You are welcome to participate in any discussion, and if you would like to connect with other young people, here is a link to a site. It is going to close in 9 hours.....maybe TED will extend it because its a good idea.
  • thumb
    Aug 6 2012: The fear of failure,The fear of disappointment from women,A sense of a loss of control over ones life,traumatic experiences.A lack of a sense of future.Many things all rolled into one.
    • Aug 6 2012: Yes Ken, sometimes the list seems inexhaustible. Thank you for being conscious of fear instesd of denying it.
  • thumb
    Aug 6 2012: Perhaps a good amount of violence can be triggered by emotion. Like anger, hate, love, pride, confusion, superiority complex, inferiority complex, pleasure, depression, fear etc.

    If we say all social violence is caused by some of those emotions listed above or other emotions, then what causes those emotions?
    • thumb
      Aug 6 2012: I agree James...violence is triggered by emotion. What causes all of our emotions and/or our actions/reactions to our emotions? Our experiences? Our thoughts?
      • thumb
        Aug 6 2012: In the end, I think 80% of the cause is from how we grew up, how we were raised, and what kind of environment we were in. So it's from our thoughts, which can be shaped from our environment/experiences. But maybe other causes are something like abnormal levels of hormones or bipolar disorder, etc.
  • thumb
    Aug 6 2012: I would suggest that no, men do not fear women. Many men, however, are unhappy, and that leads them to fear creation. Their fear of creation, can lead to destructive emotions that they then relate to women.

    Fear is the path to the darkest side.
    Fear leads to anger.
    Anger leads to hate.
    Hate leads to suffering.
    • thumb
      Aug 6 2012: Star Wars ftw!

      Maybe some men are unhappy with themselves for being "unadequate." So maybe some cases, it's not others that they fear, but they fear or hate themselves.
    • thumb
      Aug 6 2012: David and James,
      I totally agree with both of you that those who abuse and violate others are unhappy with themselves, which leads to destructive emotions they project onto others.

      If, as you say James, some people feel inadequate, perhaps they would consciously or unconsciously try to make another person feel less adequate as well? This is simply another small piece of the puzzle of course...the concept of "leveling".
      • Aug 6 2012: Thank you Colleen for your wonderful insight. Your answers on this thread,from my point of view, are to the point and backed with much experience.

        I would like you to consider the traumatic impact which the mother imposes on the son with her proxy circumcision of the new born. I have witnessed the procedure while working in the army hospital at Fort Sill Oklahoma. The vulnerability being violated so soon after birth has an impact on the psychic, which I do not think that as a culture, we have considered in depth yet.

        Thanks again...................John
        • thumb
          Aug 6 2012: You are welcome John. Violence and abuse has been an ongoing exploration for me for many years. I've experienced violence and abuse, studied and researched it, facilitated discussion groups and support groups, taught classes and workshops, worked with victims and abusers.

          Your discussion recently, was the first time the topic of traumatic impact of circumcision has come into my radar. With a quick search, I discover that Freud explored this well as many others.

          Question to you....why would it be thought that the mother imposes this on the son. Isn't it usually both parents who agree to circumcision? Usually encouraged by their religion and/or the society they are a part of?
    • Aug 7 2012: David, I would like to hear more about, "Many men, however, are unhappy, and that leads them to fear creation."
      • thumb
        Aug 8 2012: Well, I'll be honest with you John, it is a difficult topic for public discussion. You are dancing around the single most destructive aspect of human mascullinity. The desire to die. I have been avoiding responding to your discussions, because I sympathize greatly with the pain you are experiencing, and trying to express... but this a forum where a depressed 13 year old boy, could just be trying to find a fun conversation to divert his time.

        I will try to be as honest as I think is humanly, legally, and ethically possible, but I will also be very brief.

        Women desire to have children at a young age... Men do not... Almost universally. Why? Almost all human men, are unhappy. It's really that simple. There is a great comedian, who opens a show with "I've never been afraid to die. I don't understand how a man can fear death... because... I haven't enjoyed, a single moment... on this planet", half the men in the audience bust up with hysterical laughter, and almost all the women are silent, and looking at them like they're creepy.

        We were built for manual labor, we were built to chase down goals... but we don't like stuff, we're not materiallists. So we need someone to direct our labor. We need a reason to do all of this stuff, and historically women, and the sex drive, have provided that reason.

        Women in modern society no longer value us for our skills, and especially for the manual laborers, unable to adapt the knowledge economy, times are looking bleak. Men, especially in this situation are simply "going crazy", as you suggest in some of your other posts.

        The problem here is that you're not angry about circumcision or manipulation... You are mad at the ultimate manipulation...

        "I didn't ask to be here" Doug Stanhope

        You are jealous that women enjoy life, and men do not. You are jealous, that they so instantly assume, that life is a good thing and a gift, and you can not, because you were designed to pursue goals that are no longer relevant.
        • thumb
          Aug 8 2012: David,
          I think you have hit on an important peice of the puzzle. "Men are jealous that women enjoy life". I suggest that sometimes women enjoy life more because we connect more with our emotions. That is what we were taught as a "good" thing for women to do, while boys/men were taught the opposite. Work, work work to take care of the family....that was the role given to men by society, as you have noted.

          Do you honestly think/feel that men were "designed" that way? Or do you thinki/feel the way men and women have evolved has been because of roles we have been given? I tend to believe that underlying our gender, we are people....all capable of the same emotions, thoughts and feelings, and as I said in a previous comment, men have been taught to suppress emotions, which can cause a lot of anger. I believe it is natural for all people to experience and express emotions, so to suppress that must feel terrible.

          I don't agree that women in modern society no longer value men for your skills. Although I can understand how it might feel that way. Women have new freedoms, one of which is being a part of the work force. I believe women are connecting with that part of themselves which can be the financial support, the stronger part of themselvs, and they/we are learning that it sometimes is not appropriate to show our emotions in business or professional interactions. We are learning to suppress our emotions in certain circumstances now.

          At the same time, men are also learning that it's ok to show emotions, and they are trying to find the balance as well. We have lots of men now who are the stay at home dads, while the woman is in the workforce.

          Society is changing, and different rules and expectations apply for both men AND women.....people. In the meantime, there are emotional changes, maybe fear, anger, frustration for all people who are experiencing the changes, and trying to find their/our way through the maze.
      • thumb
        Aug 8 2012: There is a light at the end of this tunnel though. We are entering one of the most peaceful moments in human history. We are nearing our first demand crisis. It will be very comfortable, and enjoyable to be obselete if you let it be... but that's a wave every man has to learn to ride on his own.
  • thumb
    Aug 5 2012: Not all men express aggression towards women; but the few who do, do so because of their failures of communication or productive expression.
    Most abusers blame others for their failures and inadequacies; so their attitude may be an indication of well-concealed fear.
  • thumb
    Aug 5 2012: In my opinion the source of this violence against women is the same as those against other men. It may only differ in the fear of the consequences.
    • Aug 5 2012: Does it seem to be true for you that in the great majority of cases of violence that there is an underlying fear that the perpetrator is defending oneself against?
      • thumb
        Aug 5 2012: I am not certain if the source of violence can be categorized in one majority and maybe a few several other minorities.

        My source of violence has only been self-defence and defence of others so far to stop physical domination exercised by an agressor.

        I don't know if fear of others could explain violence in its majority. Maybe it is fear of losing control of the situation, of losing an imaginative self-control?
        • Aug 5 2012: Do you feel that the majority of us fear the consequences of being dominated by another person or group of persons?
      • thumb
        Aug 5 2012: Sheer violence can be set against physical objects, such as windows, traffic signs and whatever.
        I have my doubts that this violence was induced by fearing those objects, as they act more as a target, a 'bulls eye' to focus on...
        • Aug 5 2012: Do you think that a past unresolved fear may be triggered into by a present event, circumstances or memory and that may be a cause of violence in some circumstances?
      • thumb
        Aug 5 2012: 'Do you feel that the majority of us fear the consequences of being dominated by another person or group of persons?'

        No I don't. Because if they did they would already acting accordingly and - in my opinion - consequently.
        • Aug 5 2012: What do you mean by acting accordingly?
      • thumb
        Aug 5 2012: 'Do you think that our past unresolved fear ...'

        I imagine this for people suffiring from post traumatic stress disorder.

        Fear can be one trigger for violence, but I do not see a necessity for it. Do you consider other sources as well?
        • Aug 6 2012: In the emotional domain it appears to me that the rage which perpetrates violence has a current conscious or semiconscious fear under it or a past unresolved fear influencing the present. If you disagree with this perspective and/or have other perspectives on the issue, please fill me in.
      • thumb
        Aug 5 2012: 'What do you mean by acting accordingly?'

        People are already dominated by another group of people today, namely within the given economic crisis and what is done by governments on our behalf. But do you see any appropriate reaction of the majority of people which just happen not to suffer directly by it at the moment?